Recently, Elixir unveiled its first standalone boutique in SEA in Takashimaya Shopping Centre, at the heart of Singapore’s shopping district. This followed the brand’s launch on Lazada’s LazMall in April as part of its online-first strategy to introduce the brand in the region.
“We wanted to embark online experience first so customers can get to know about the brand. Elixir is a known brand; it has been the number one brand in Japan for almost 15 years. The journey with Lazada started with creating awareness and brand building,” said Rachel Cheng, general manager of cosmetics, Shiseido Singapore.
Speaking exclusively to CosmeticsDesign-Asia, Cheng told us that the firm deliberately chose not to announce that it was opening a boutique.
Instead, it let the word spread organically to drum up excitement. “We’ve seen customers walk past the store and take a picture – word of mouth is actually more viral and more positive,” said Cheng.
While the brand has been gaining traction on Lazada, the brand recognised the importance of having a physical presence to create meaningful experiences for today’s consumers and be a touchpoint for the consumer.
For instance, the new boutique was intentionally designed to evoke a welcoming atmosphere with spaces where the brand could hold workshops.
“We are seeing a trend where people want experiences, a touchpoint, which is why we invested in a free-standing store. Boutiques in general can have a very cold feeling and we want to create a cosy environment. We don’t stand at the storefront to push samples out, we just welcome them in, offer them a seat and get them comfortable. We’ve also partnered with Matchaya to supply us tea so we can give customers that cosy experience where they can get their skin analysed and drink tea while you wait,” said Cheng.
Unlike the past, where the retail playbook would be to open a store or counter in every mall or department store, the firm is happy to stick with a sole flagship for now.
“For the first two years, we will not be looking at opening a second or third store. We want [the flagship store] to be an iconic representation of Elixir,” said Cheng.
Keeping in line with the post-pandemic habits of beauty consumers today, the store is also home to the Elixir x Lazada omnichannel digital bay.
This avenue will offer consumers exclusive deals and provide another channel where consumers can purchase and get products delivered to their doorstep. Conversely, consumers can purchase the brands on Lazada can also opt for a self-pick-up at the boutique.
“We are privileged to be partnering with Shiseido,” Lazada Singapore CEO Loh Wee Lee told us during the Elixir boutique opening.
“We know that brands will continue to be omnichannel. We want to further embrace being omnichannel to support brands in their journey, both online and offline – because you will never be 100% online when it comes to sales.
“Lazada being an O2O player is a reflection of the way we want to engage our consumers, both online and offline as well in a post-pandemic world. It’s not just about sales, it’s more than that, it’s about consumer engagement and experiences.